Thursday, November 25, 2010

Pa Elk in the Fall

We have been busy with business and family the past few weeks but have had time to visit Elk County Pennsylvania before the beginning of the Elk Season.  We saw over 275 different elk in the Benezett area-all of them in the hunt zone.  All of these elk were very acclimated to human interaction.  It is very difficult to understand those that support the hunt 100% when one sees how tame these elk are.  Their claims that they go into the back country and the elk are not tame there is certainly a misunderstanding of the facts.  The PGC claims the elk herd is about 700 to 800 animals.  With that in mind I observed about 1/3 of the entire herd in two days at benezett.  Joan and I took a walk back in the woods and I was able to walk within 15 yards of a small herd of elk resting in the woods.  They showed no signs of fear and remained laying down while I photographed them.  A certain faction of the individuals that I have conversed with from the area that are avid hunters and members of the Keystone Elk Alliance have begun calling some of us anti-hunters because we oppose the Pa Elk Hunt.  One individual's conversations are laced with veiled violent rhetoric and he has even said the anti hunters better be careful in the woods during the hunt because they might get hurt.  It is sad to see that some of these individuals can not have an adult conversation about the pros and cons of how the hunt is run and a discussion of the facts concerning the hunt showing that it is not a fair chase hunt.  It is also sad that they can not understand that many of us that oppose the Pa Elk Hunt are avid hunters and Sportsmen!

With that part of it aside-we had a great time viewing and photographing the elk.
Canon Mk IV 1D; 600 f4 at f4 1/100; ISO 2500 EC +.67

Canon Mk IV 1D; 600 f4 at f4; 1/160 ISO 2000 ec+.67

Canon Mk IV 1D; Canon 600mm f4 at f4 1.40; ISO4000 ec+.67

Canon Mk IV 1 D; Canon 600 f4 at f4; 1/100 ISO 2500 EC +.67

Canon Mk IV 1D; canon 600 f4 at f4.5; 1/125 ISO 4000 EC +.67

Canon Mk IV 1D; Canon 600 f4 at f4.5; 1/125 ISO 4000 EC +.67

Canon Mk IV 1D; Canon 600 f4 at f4; 1/60 ISO2000

Since most of the good photo opportunities were early in the morning and late in the evening, it gave us a good chance to really push the ISO capabilities of the camera.  I had previously thought I would need to stop at ISO 2000 to retain good picture quality-but this trip proved that theory wrong.  I was able to take high quality pictures up to an including ISO 4000.

here is a parting shot.  Joan took this picture of me after we had walked to the back of the reclaim area in hunt zone 2.  I had walked across the open field area toward the elk to see if they would spook-the wind was to my back and I was in the open.  I walked to within 15 yards of the elk and they did not show any signs of fear or anxiousness.  This is the spot where friends had been a few weeks prior and the archer and/or the archer's "guide" that were hunting there made claims that "anti's" had interfered with the hunt.  No one spooked any elk or attempted to spook any elk and the archer could have directly walked up to the elk if he had so chosen.

Until next time

Jim Borden

1 comment:

Coy Hill said...

Well said Jim!

I was one of those anti's photographing the hunted bull and at any time the shooter could have walked past, walked up to, and shot his arrows into the bull. Three of us walked up to the bull with cameras, there was nothing to stop him from walking up with his bow unless he just didn't want to be seen wacking the animal and us photographing the aftermath.